9 April How the DofE helped shape my career and improved my mental health
OnSide Youth Zones - read stories from young people at Future
The work that our charity partners do is incredible. Throughout the pandemic they have been there for London’s most vulnerable, transforming lives. See more about what OnSide Youth Zones have been doing and the impact they are having on young people at their Future Zone.
Solomon has been a member at Future Youth Zone since they first opening in May 2019. Solomon joined Future and was dealing with low self-confidence due to his weight and appearance.
Through conversation he built up a relationship with one of the youth workers Sam, who coaches in the boxing gym and fitness suite. Sam encouraged Solomon to give some of his sessions ago and Solomon enjoyed them lots and continued attending them.
Solomon began to see positive changes in himself physically and mentally. He showed an incredible amount of perseverance which transferred to young people around him enabling himself and them to work harder.
During sessions Solomon would motivate and inspire other young people, whether he knew them or not, making everyone believe in themselves and the abilities they have. Solomon consistently displays an incredible amount of talent in all he does. He listens and engages positively with staff members coaching him and upholds Future’s values and sets a fantastic example to other Youth Zone members.
Flavia has been coming regularly to Future’s Junior sessions since September. She was always quite shy and quietly got on with the different activities on offer.
Since lockdown Flavia has thrown herself into our online activities, joining Zoom sessions in dance, cooking, art and more and regularly asking questions to our guest speakers on Instagram Live. Through the Zoom sessions, Flavia has made really good friends with another girl who she didn’t know before, and now they talk all the time on the phone. Throughout, the team noticed Flavia’s confidence gradually growing.
When we announced Holiday Club would run, Flavia was quick to sign up. At the end of the two weeks Flavia celebrated her birthday here at Future with Ella’s signature Future Blue Cupcakes! She told us how much the experience had meant to her, how she had made new friends and enjoyed the activities.
In September Flavia will make the big move to secondary school. Her increased confidence will stand her in a great position to excel in her new school.
Venice, is a 16 year old member of Future Youth Zone. Through the guidance and support of the dedicated youth work team and her peers, she has built up her confidence. Encouraging physical activity over lockdown and interaction with friends has been a key priority:
“Before joining Future I used to do the same things but on an amateur level. I used to dance but this was just in my living room and with no dancing teacher. My friend told me about the Youth Zone and encouraged me to attend. The support of friends at Future enabled me to not feel shy. I was overwhelmed with excitement and Future began to feel like a second home.
Future supported me in my confidence and supported my socialising skills. At Future all the staff are really friendly and all the members are friendly too. The facilities are spacious to perform activities.
By going to Future I have become friendlier and more open to talk to people. Thanks to future I have gained a new best friend.”
Future is proud to create a safe and welcoming environment for young members to express themselves, develop self-esteem and make friends in.